Interning at Adoption STAR

By Stephanie Velez, MSW

It is hard to find words to best describe my feelings surrounding my last semester as a graduate student. It is even more difficult to find the words to describe my experiences interning at Adoption STAR as my semester comes to an end. It is bitter sweet that my time as an intern is coming to a close but I am very excited to be able to expand on my professional experiences post graduation. Graduating from the University at Buffalo School of Social Work makes me only the second person in my family to graduate with a Masters degree and for this, I am very proud. I am also proud to say that I was part of an agency like Adoption STAR that provided me with an abundance of knowledge and positive experiences. My family and friends have seen my love and interest in the adoption field grow every day and my internship helped me reaffirm these beliefs. It is not everyday that you find yourself working in a field or agency that you truly love and believe in.

The agency was not only warm and welcoming but also driven to help me learn about the process of adoption. Before entering the agency, my “adoption knowledge” was based on stories and experiences from friends who have been adopted. Throughout the internship, I have learned that adoption is a complex process that involves a lot of dedication and hard work from all people involved. Working with staff, expectant/birth parent(s) and adoptive parent(s) has given me a holistic understanding of how the adoption process functions and affects people. Adoption STAR is an agency that is flexible and adaptable in the way they deliver their services to clients. This is very important when working in a field that provides services to people at all stages of pregnancy and adoption planning. Adoption STAR embraces the collaboration needed between adoptive and expectant/birth parent departments and I have had to the pleasure to work with both of these departments.

As my internship comes to an end, my experiences and relationships built with Adoption STAR will carry on. I am so thankful for the opportunity that the agency has provided me with and I will continue to share my wealth of adoption knowledge with my family and friends.